Tuesday, January 31, 2012

End January

For an old retired guy - this is going (and is) a busy week. One of the running jokes for retired folks is that we are busier now than when we had a job. This is not totally true - maybe the less activity just takes up more time cause we are slower now. Beats me.

Saturday: 1 p.m. our home owner's association had the yearly meeting. I expected a wild meeting. One of the LOT owners has sued the HOA for two reasons - (1) he cannot camp on his lot and invite his friends down for the weekend and camp - HOA bylaws say that is a no-no. 2ndly he wants to put a for sale sign on his empty Lot. Seems like a good idea to me. Git rid of da guy. But, no, we have a rule put in by the original developer...y'see, when the guy opened the housing development (his name is Jackson), he put in a rule that nobody could have a for sale sign on an undeveloped lot - that way he had a monopoly.

So now all lots except the bad ones are sold - but the rule still stands; and, yes, I think we should change it. But, the jerk sued us before we had the chance.

That is just not right - he got mad and tried to bully his way in. The rest of the homeowners got their backs up & the rule still stands. Guess it will go to court.

We elected new officers (some of the old ones were re-elected) -- and my wife was appointed Treasurer. The old Treasurer recently bought a Lexus. There was some good natured kidding about her getting the car as she was turning over the books. Naturally, when there was a lull after my wife was introduced as the new TR. I quickly spoke up and asked if I got a new car. I am so funny.
Sunday: church choir - home - did little else that I can remember. Dug a bit in the yard. Took the purple martin house out and cleaned them for the new season. Purple Martins are fun to watch out over the water. Had to go back into town that afternoon and evening.
Monday: more digging in yard. Reinstalled the purple martin houses out by the waterfront. Dug a trench in back yard - am building a wood barrier to slow down water erosion.    Water level is now about 40 ft from the shore. When it reaches shore, it must rise another 4 foot to be at the lake's regular level; i.e., the lake is still down about 5 ft. I was so tired (from who knows what) that I took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. I forced myself to get up at 5.
Tuesday: (this morn) 5:30 a.m. Fritz starts yelling. My wife got up and took them out to the Dog Pit. Fed them, etc. Then she got ready to go to town. At 7:30 I heard the front door open as she left. The dogs stated howling. It was pitiful. Gave it up and went in to shush them. Took quite a while. What got to the dogs was that sweet Fritz, my 9 + year old scruffy bow was on his way to the groomers.

When Fritz was hooked up to his leash, the others felt betrayed. They were staying home while Fritz walked out the front door. Let us howl. And they did. Wirehair dachshunds are groomed sorta like a schnauzer....but different. And in Corsicana, you cannot explain this properly. Poor Fritz. They went zip zip - left his eyebrows & some of his beard - left the hair on his tail (shouldn't) and the hair on his ears (shouldn't). He looks terrible but it makes my wife happy to have him trimmed. Fritz doesn't care either way.

The dogs were so happy to see Fritz when he got home. He didn't care either way as long as he got to eat supper. Which, he did.

Tonight, we went to town. Our local little theater had their first production of the year. The four cast members did a good job. Very entertaining. It is a surprise to me how many people are working back stage as the 4 actors perform. If I wanted to be a part of the community more, I think working as a stage hand, etc. would be a good hobby. Meet lots of folks.
Wed. tomorrow. have to go to town early. Wife has a dental appt. Then we have other exciting things to do. Tomorrow night: church choir for me and bell choir for her.  If time permits, am installing an outside light in the Dog Pit.

Thurs. Corsicana Swing Orchestra band rehearsal. I wish that I had practice a bit more before Thursday gets here.
Fri. May be a free day. i don't know. May rain.
Sat. Plan right now is to go to First Monday trade days in Canton. We will see. May need to drive north instead. Or not.  next week will be busier -- I already know it.  We love to see the puppies at Canton.

One of my daughters has a birthday next week - I am getting old.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Please Pouring Pot - end Jan.

pot pouring please

1. It came to me today. You cannot tickle a dog. Try as hard as you might, the dog just rolls over on his back and says, "oh yeah baby, do it again." I would imagine the same applies to cats, horses, and frogs.
2. I wore out another billfold this week. It was a trifold that was given to me by U.T. Johnny a while back. It worked for quite a while but lately had started to lose its pep, if a billfold can lose pep. Mine did. Into a drawer it went & out came a new one which was acquired sometime in the past. (The old one in a drawer is called Hoarding.)
              My new one, while a tri-fold too, would not hold the essentials. I tried. Back to the drawer for another (I own 3 new unused billfolds for some reason). This was a bi-fold and seems to work okay even though I have not used that variety in many a many year. I will be looking for a hungry tri-fold sometime in the future. I like their appearance - but it will have to be just rightly arranged inside to fit my standards.
              I hinted for one before Christmas. My people never get my hints. I get their hints. I have a rule that I will never buy an item that has been hinted for...to buy...by me...for somebody else. Ruins the surprise if I buy what someone really wants. Instead I purchase what I want. That makes sense to me.
3. Our lake is starting to come up a bit. Instead of being 130 feet from the shore, I estimate it to be 80 to 90. That last 3 inch rainTuesday did some good. I do think I might be able to get the boat out IF I really had to.
               Above written on Wednesday. As of Friday morning we have 42 inches of water under the back of the boat and about 2 1/2 feet under the front of the boat. The water sprinkler intake is under water - we can water the yard again.The water line is still - give or take - about 45 ft from shore.
4. Watching the Today Show today the last segment. HODA had Carrie Fischer on as a guest host - or is it Fisher? doesn't matter. Carrie made me feel old as I look at Princess Leia (spelling flawed again ?). She has not aged as well as I had wished. She is quick of tongue and quite awake. But I am still sad for her. She has some strange gestures and behaviors which make me wonder. But, she is quick of tongue.
5. Had a great vision for another great movie plot. Zombies from Mars. Creatures from a Mars zombie penal colony are being transported when the transport gets lost and lands on the planet Jmilee where the attack peace loving Jmirovarians. Etc. Will be a great movie as soon as I get funding to start. Now let me think - where did that idea come from???
6. From the Netflix movie Jennie, story of Lady Randolph Churchill - "It doesn't matter what you do as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses."
7. As I have previously told, I make memos on my phone to remind me what my next essay should be. Sometimes I do not remember what the memo means. The following is a memo quote. You make up your own stone cause I don't have the slightest idea at this bend of the river.
             "What I don't like about hampton and zxz and the motorhome beautiful I don't get a corn dog or eat in chinese we save money log me in free poker by eating in the motorhome for ho ho ho."
               It could be that I said this into my phone and the above is the automatic typing process. Now that I type it out - I understand part of it. Next comes my interpretation.
                   Interpretation: What I don't like about going to Canton in the motorhome (spending the night) for First Monday Trade Days is that we eat all meals in the motorhome and I don't get to chow down on a corn dog or turkey leg. Usually we eat lunch away from the First Monday play at a Chinese buffet.
                  When we go to Canton, the first 2 to 3 hours is spent in the Dog Alley area looking at puppies. We do love puppies. We marvel at the dachshunds and shake our head in wonder as people buy enormous dogs and pit bulls - not to mention the designer dogs selling for $300 - y'know, we use to call them Mutts. What are they thinking? We are always on the look for a pile of POMS in order to take a photo to send to Jim & E. It makes them jealous not to be there playing with the Poms. Then we eat Chinese. The afternoon is spent in the Trade Days area, walking and looking and walking and looking and walking. This last time, we found 2 buildings we had never seen or visited in years of looking and walking.
8. Advertisement seen on car at Walmart: "Talking parrots hand raised exotic birds 903-872-8031."
                    NOT, I SAY, NOT going to call that number.
                    When we lived in Plugerville one day, a pretty exotic bird landed on a bush by the house. It was easily captured. We took it to a pet store thinking they might have a listing of lost birds. Nope. Got a cage instead (wonder why they don't keep a listing?). Over time we gave it to daughter Christine. The bird eventually escaped its confines and now lives outside somebody's house in a bush - waiting to be saved. I do think it was trained to escape by the pet store selling cages.
9. Just sneezed. I don't know if I'm sick or just tired - or just sick and tired. Don't know. Went to my doctor this week for the 6 month checkup - we do this since I got the Diabetes diagnosis. All is fine. BP is 110 over 68. They say that is excellent. My A1C is 5.9, just barely under the 6.0 "we get worried again" number. I am keeping blood numbers down by diet - lack of good exercise - and playing with the dogs.
                I do have ringing in the ears. The Spouser wanted me to ask again.   I did.    Again. He said something like "That's the way it goes, everybody knows, that's the way it always been and how it's gonna be." (thanks to Purlie for lyrics)
                  But he looked into my ears discovering - believe it or not - wax.   The doc had me buy wax softener at store. Put it in; wash out ears; and now my ears have closed up. Everything has gotten really really quiet except the ringing which seems to have a new lease on life. More wash outs will follow.
               Protect your ears from noise; the ringing won't go away.
10. We all are aware of the Tim Tebow doing the praying thing within his football team. It is amazing how this has apparently offended groups of people. If the guy wants to pray, leave him alone. Somehow it is just fine to criticize him for that - but we are pounced upon if we even roll our eyes at Brokeback Mountain Boys or other events that are not politically correct to criticize.
                   A letter to the editor of the Dallas News came from a Jim Basham... who knows where this Basham guy comes from or who he be or if there is anyone who does care. His last paragraph was true in my opinion:
              " The outcome of a football game is won or lost on the football field, not through prayer, biblical scripture or the assistance of our Lord God. Amen!"
             that is what Jim said; that is what Jim Basham said.
             Now if he'd just put that in and left it alone, it might be okay. But the two paragraphs prior to the above classify this guy as a kook. I am going to type them in exactly as they were in the paper - and that will end this pot pouring for the night/day.
                   "...Tebow displays on his body John 3:16 ....Tebow threw 10 completions for 316 yards in a win over the Pittsburg Steelers. Coincidence?"
                  "Matthew 5:16 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.'...."Tebow threw five completions out of 16 attempts in a loss to the new England Patriots. Coincidence?"

So I leave this to your pondering. I can only say one thing about the above:



Saturday, January 21, 2012

This won't take long.

The wife & I decided to have an adventure this morning. A storage shed rental place had an auction this morning at 9 a.m. For me to be anywhere by 9 a.m. means I have an interest. Retirement should not allow for 9 a.m. Beeton Street Mini Storage place - auction. The adv. in the paper listed 11 units.

In contrast to the TV shows about the auctions, our paper listed what was in each space. It was a general list - not too specific.

Started at 9, we got there at 8:55. . . didn't even bother to register to bid. I had $30 in my pocket, so you know how serious I was. There was this one 6 ft guy who had a checkbook in the back pocket of his jeans - sticking out about 2 inches high. You could see a stack of money next to the blank checks. If I had been a slick pickpocket, he would have lost. It was hard to believe anyone would flaunt that stack of bills and take such little effort for protection.

The auctioneer came out carrying a small speaker system with a microphone held in his hand. He ate so much of that mike that I found it difficult to understand what he said - let me add - when the sound bounced off the building, that I could understand. He gave rules and rules and rules. One of which called for a $50 refundable deposit if you buy a unit. Once you clean out the unit, you get the fifty back. Another difference, they gave you until Monday to clear it out - or you could rent the shed for a month. Seemed like a thought.

The first shed had junk in it. A grandfather and his g'son (10 years old) got it for about 175, It was packed with junk. They high fived and were just giddy. On TV when a shed is opened, the crowd always oooooos and ahhhhhhhhs. Not at this place. Also the boss did not move the crowd around enough. You could not get up to see unless you were rude. One lady brought a flashlight - she must have been a pro. . . but she bought nothing.

Turns out only 7 sheds were sold. One had a desk only, not even a good desk.

Another had a plastic tub filled with Barbie Dolls - only.

The biggest shed of the day was packed. You could see 2 bikes, a frig, 2 window air units and who knows what else. There was a nice sewing basket. It looked like it belong to someone - their household goods. It sold for $575, the biggest of the day. The smallest was $25 for a room of sparse trash.

I figure - if you could go to a Corsicana sale with a thousand dollars and a complete lack of intelligence, you could buy every space. Then, all you would have to do was find a way to unload it. So I need to open a junk store - 2nd Hand Palace - Trash & Treasures. My wife said we could just go out into our garage for the same results - cost less.

Next time, I'm getting there early - registering - and bringing $40 in cash, moola, dollars, fins.

Doesn't it make sense that somewhere on the web is a place that lists all the storage space auctions. If there is not - what a great opportunity for a business. Think about it. That is a good parttime business for someone.

I'm retired.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

January pot pouring

From my list of things to talk about that I have seen somewhere, sometime.

Going to look at website - www.cartalk.com On their radio show today a girl called in - took her pickup to a shop in New Orleans - it was leaking gas. The mechanic told her the problem was Mud Chiggers in the fuel line. Yep, Mud Chiggers. I love listening to Click & Clack.

On TV last night was a show about eating hot food and places to go for hot foods. Of course, why? I don't know., they started in New Orleans. 2nd location was in Grapevine, TX - Tolbert's - Frank X Tolbert was one of the first big chili cookers & involved in the Terlingua success story.

This is his place. I think he died. So a daughter or son or family representative makes it work. The show showed (cute set of words) several folks buying chili and eating same. Sweat and running noses were seen all around. Tolbert's has 3 levels of chili: cold, Medium, and Hot. It is located in Grapevine on Main street between north of Hwy 114 and south of Northwest Hwy. Fly into DFW? Stop off at Tolbert's for an eye opener on your drive towards Dallas.

I wanna go.

In the Dallas paper this week was an article about a fugitive, Jesse Dimmick, from Denver - who was facing a murder charge. He broke into this house in Sept, 2009, and held Jared & Lindsay Rowley hostage with a knife. Later they agreed to hide him for money. When Jesse fell asleep, the Rowleys escaped and turned the guy into da law.

Now Jesse sued them for breach of contract of an oral binding contract. Believe it or not, the judge threw the case out of court. Now is that a stone worth repeating?
http://www.shoppickerswarehouse.com/ I watch the American Pickers TV show.  They have a website with their stuff to buy. Gonna go see.
Ever-once-in-a-while a thought crosses my mind - don't know what caused the memory to come out.

suddenly I caught myself singing those famous lyrics: Bowl a bowl a ball a penny a pitch....oh you bowl a bowl a ball - bowl a bowl a ball - then there is something about "the apple of my eye" singing bowl a bowl a ball a penny a pitch.

fab. song. wonder if it is on youtube?==============
nuff for now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Septic Stone

Septic Stone:

As it turns out - there is not much humor in my septic stone. But for those of you who revel in my misery, there may be more humor than I can predict.

a learning preface: If you don't live on a sewer line, you must have a septic system. There are different kinds. I have an aerobic system. That does not mean "to exercise." Aerobic systems have an air pump that runs 24 / 7 putting air into the mess. Somehow, someone, somewhere, sometime - figured out that putting air into sewer helps to clarify the end result. Now, frankly, who would have thunk?

Sewage / waste water leaves the house. It delivers itself into a large concrete tank. The tank (that I have) has 4 compartments. The septic people have cute names for each step of the process. I call it as I see it. The 1st compartment collects the sludge. As I type this I am watching the 1948 film The Three Musketeers with Lana Turner & Gene Kelly. You may notice that I lose focus at times.

So the junk falls into the first tank and commences to percolate. Little gooey bugs (I'd say bacteria but have an uncomfortable feeling that the spelling is wrong) - bugs start eating away - they love the mess. [I'd swear that is June Allison playing a supporting roll while they play the theme from Romeo & Juliet ] Eventually the tank has enough liquid that the clearer stuff goes over the top into the 2nd tank. This tank has the hose that puts in the air. It bubbles all the time. Somehow this works (see previous paragraph). If lumpy stuff gets in here, it magically works its way back into the 1st tank. I don't know how.

Cleaned in the 2nd tank - it moves into #3. I have no idea what happens in the 3rd compartment. It just does. This brings us to compartment #4 where we have a water pump. This pump shoves the clarified liquid into a small black hose that is under the entire back yard. The water goes into the hose which has a tiny hole every 2 ft or so - "weep holes" we pros call them.

I have maybe 10 to 15 lateral lines dripping water under the yard. Some system have water sprinklers attached - but, being on the lake, this is not allowed. We drip under ground. When the water gets to the end of the tubes - it dumps into another hose that returns it to the concrete tank to be repumped. All so democratic.
Now you almost know as much as I know.

Our problem: water was bubbling up in the back yard. A fountain of clarified sewage water. Not good. Before today was over, repair guy Garrett repaired two of these fountains - he is so good with his hands. What led up to this remains for another stone.

The main water pump was dead. I got a brand new water pump - so pretty and new and shiny. I asked if I could have the dead pump to hang on my office wall. We opened up and looked inside every compartment - sludge is so nice to visit. No dogs fell into a tank (they were locked up inside the house). Everything is back together - looks like a $700 bill has been eaten up by bugs, sludge, & pumps....there is more.

We have discovered a long, vertical crack in the last compartment. This implies the concrete tank MAY BE falling in on itself. We are watching it for a couple months. If it is indeed falling in - a new tank may have to be installed. If the holes in the long lines are plugged, they will have to be blown out. Should any of these possibilities happen, I will bore you with the stone.

Today is over - septic is working (to the best of my knowledge) - and we move on.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Quilt guild

I was reminded of the previous cake stone today as my wife left this morning to go to town.

Today, Monday, this is the date for the monthly Corsicana Quilt Guild Ladies meeting. Each month they meet on the 1st Monday; however because of New Years, the meeting was moved back a week. The plan was to have a meeting in the morning, all bring a pot luck dish, then cut material and sew things together in the after ... a full day of quilt guild fun and frolic (my wife prolly thinks I am making fun with that sentence - am not - they are a fun bunch full of giggles and snappy comebacks, all sewn together in one gigantic guild).

Have you ever been to a luncheon of quilt guilders? Most female gatherings of pot luck meals have lots of salads, carrot sticks, tine sandwiches with the crust cut off, gooey messy salad casseroles, and sweets .... you just know what food was at that table.  

I have little to add to this.  Wife took a nice gooey salad today - did not place it by the front door - and did not have an emotional start for her day.

Quilt guild is making quilts for kids and soldiers.  I think that is a nice thing.  They worked today on some of that.  This is not a funny entry - just life in the country - retired.   I stayed home and threw the ball for Oscar.

Fruit Cake Stone

Cake Stone:

As with many stones - it is necessary to give a bit of a forward. This is the forward. 

Preface.      A long long time ago my bro-in-law's wife, sent this recipe for a fruit cake that she makes (it is made inside of a bundt cake pan). Apparently, it is a FINE, NO, AN EXCELLENT recipe cause people love it all over the State of New Hampshire.   I wouldn't know since I am not allowed to eat fruit cake, chocolate cake, German Chocolate cake - you name it cake - maybe caked on dirt would be okay.

The wife makes the cake. She loves it. Wife makes another one to take to Lubbock for Christmas that year. It was well received in Lubbock.  Lubbock Daughter-in-Law always makes a bunch of good sweets, so the cake fit right in with fine food and fellowship.

Then we came home. End preface.

As time went by, we had a pot luck dinner at school.  

So Pot Luck? What to bring? There was only one answer. The "now famous" fruit cake. A Sunday afternoon was spent in stirring up a fruitcake concoction. It baked. The aroma crept into every nook and cranny of our mansion. I stuffed Vaseline up my nose to cut the hunger pains and cravings. Really, I did. Really.

Monday arrived and it was time for the potluck (school luncheon).   Up early that day, the wife arranged all of her school stuff by the front door. Then, off to the showers. I got up a bit later - took the dogs outside - ate my delicious bowl of everyday Grape Nuts. My mate came out of the back room and prepared to leave for school - coat on - I am in another room skimming Sunday's funny papers when I hear a LOUD: "OOOOOOHHHHHH NNNOOOOOOOOO."

i didn't wait for an explanation, I scurried into the living room. There on the floor by the door inside an enormous carrying bag was a torn piece of aluminum foil. And - the cake - the fruit cake - the  "now famous" fruit cake.

Maybe as much as 1/4th to 1/3rd was gone in a pie shape. Someone (or thing) had started on the edge and eaten to the center hole. Then, moving outward tearing away the foil as necessary, the cake was mowed down and around.    Perhaps, it was me coming out of the bedroom earlier - perhaps it was my wife coming out of the bathroom - perhaps it was the relative small size of a dachshund's tummy - not all of the cake was taken out.

"OOOOOOHHHHHHH NNNOOOOOOOOO," she howled. My eyes rolled up and back into my brain.   If I asked you which dog, which of my five doxies, who would you pick as the Guilty Canine? Mutt? Growl Based Pup? Which One? Well you are wrong. It was not Fritz. Had he had the access, well sure. The entire cake would have been gone...perhaps even the foil and the plate.

Fritz was locked up behind our dog barrier. He is innocent, jealous, but innocent. Oscar you muse?   Well, you would be wrong again. Ball boy and his twin Bruno were not yet born - paying attention?  The twins are only 2 years old and I retired in 2004.   It was a trick question.   No, it had to be one of the girls, our sweet little babies: Greta or Liesl. Since it was missing so much cake, it must be Liesl.   Greta is such a dainty eater - dot dot dot - And, if you looked closely, Liesl had a hint of a smile behind those pink stained lips.

What to do? The spouse has to leave in just a moment for school and the school noon lunch.   What DID we do; what CAN we do?  The cake plate was carried to the kitchen. The eaten area was cut out and trashed ( in spite of potentially being a great afternoon doggy snack ).    Bundt cake lines were cut.  The remainder of the cake was placed upon a new / clean / different crystal plate - artfully placed, I might add - all covered with a fresh piece of aluminum foil. The cake went to school.

I do not know if my wife ate any at the luncheon.  I did not.   I know the cake stone was not told to the group - even today the name of the school will remain a secret. Yes, it was not told.  My wife and I did enjoy teaching there.   It would be a shame to open up a law suit.   

But, if you should ever come to visit, we'll bake you a cake - the well-loved and famous fruit cake, loved by man and beast. Burp.